Devotion - Monday April 29 - The Common Grace Of Government

Text: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” - Romans 13:1

Devotion: The establishment of governments is one way in which we experience God’s common grace upon humankind.  The Apostle Paul explains that God has appointed various authorities in order to control bad conduct and carry out God’s wrath on those who do wrong (Rom. 13:3-4).  As believers, we are instructed to respect the governing authorities (v. 1), to do good (v. 3), and, yes, to even pay taxes (v. 7).  Without government, there would be anarchy, a societal free-for-all resulting in increased sin, lawlessness, and bloodshed.

Paul urged believers in the early church to pray for “kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Tim. 2:1-2).  One reason for offering such prayers is so that we “may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (v. 2).  In a well-functioning society, believers are able to, among other things, pursue honest work, enjoy fellowship with other believers, worship corporately, and evangelize.  

It is right and good for us, as believers, to pray for those in positions of governmental authority.  We should pray that our leaders, regardless of their political affiliation, would govern justly and rightly.  We should pray for wisdom and discernment for them, particularly in light of society’s increasingly complex nature.  Further, we should pray for their health and wellbeing, and especially that they, too, would come to know Jesus as Lord, the heavenly Ruler and King over all.

Questions:
  1. Do you primarily view the governing authorities as having been instituted by God?  Why?
  2. How are you encouraging others to pray for those in positions of governmental authority?
  3. During the Great Commission, Jesus declared: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18).  How does respecting the governing authorities further our mission of making disciples of all nations?

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